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Japan A-bomb survivors hail ICAN Nobel Peace Prize win

© AFP/File | Sunao Tsuboi (R) was among a handful of Hiroshima survivors who met then US president Barack Obama during his historic visit to the city last year

TOKYO (AFP) - 

Survivors of the World War II atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Friday congratulated ICAN on winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize, vowing to work together with the disarmament group to achieve a nuclear-free world.

"I'm delighted that ICAN, which has taken action to abolish nuclear weapons like us, won the Nobel Peace Prize," Sunao Tsuboi, who suffered serious burns in the blast and subsequently developed cancer, said in a statement, according to public broadcaster NHK.

"I want to offer my warmest congratulations," said the long-time Hiroshima campaigner for nuclear disarmament.

"Together with ICAN and many other people, we 'Hibakusha' will continue to seek a world without nuclear weapons as long as our lives last," the 92-year-old said.

Tsuboi was among a handful of Hiroshima survivors who met then US president Barack Obama during his historic visit to the city last year.

"We want to take great delight as it helped build up a treaty banning nuclear weapons," Shigemitsu Tanaka, a Nagasaki survivor, told reporters.

"We want to work together so that the nuclear disarmament treaty can be signed as soon as possible," said Tanaka, head of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council.

Ageing survivors of the atomic bombing of the two Japanese cities have long spearheaded an anti-nuclear campaign, visiting the UN and other international conferences to narrate the horror of the tragedies.

On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the southern Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people, according to estimates.

Three days later, a second bomb devastated Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people. Japan surrendered shortly afterwards, bringing World War II to an end.

© 2017 AFP